Exhibit: Breaking the waves in iconic landscapes

editorial image
0
Have your say

Rob Shaw walked away from a career as an architectural designer into Staithes to follow his heart to be an artist, and has never looked back.

He thrives on dramatic landscapes and has made his home in Staithes which is a constant source of inspiration.

His iconic landscapes have travelled the world.

Bright colour pops, seductive shades of blue with white washed houses set against powerful sea and skyscapes quickly became his trade mark.

If one place has defined his approach to art it is here in Staithes.

Self-taught, Rob has defined and carved out a very unique style.

“It’s all been in my head. Twenty years ago, this was what I was thinking about doing, returning to Staithes to paint.

“It feels like only now is it all coming together.

“It’s exciting to be still figuring it out. I throw a mark and can make it move with confidence.”

It was always important that his work did not just become a generic interpretation of what he saw.

What enables this is a more unconventional perspective, which often gives his work a vertiginous feel.

The cliffs or sea walls drop dramatically, the rush of energy in the sea or sky can give a roller coaster feel to the subject matter. Intense reds and blues imply a hot summer day or render the original delineation into an edgy seascape.

What underlies all of this is exceptional draughtsmanship.

The same hues can alternate into a cool still day, which is restful and calm. What is key to his style is an undercurrent of wildness, which is sometimes tamed, or sometimes set free.

This is never more apparent than in his new work, where a certain freedom has translated into a more fluid, energetic seascapes. Painted at night in his studio in the mid winter, his black and white seascapes are a symphony of inky black skies and wild winter seas.

If anything captures the North Sea so poetically it is this new work.

Looking out from the harbour the breakwaters frame the paintings where the sea throws everything at them.

The canvases capture the raw, wild energy of the sea.

A floating luminescent moon hangs over the harbour like a storm l, but lantern, the white spray of the breaking waves soften the muted greys and blacks. The coldness is palpable, you can sense the night.

Working on several canvases at once, Rob’s prolific energy comes from a restlessness as transparent as the sea he paints. There is a constant turbulence, but also a sense of safety and being rooted to his new work.The security of the harbour, or piers at Whitby become the protectors.

The defenders against the elements.

“I’ve got to let it go, I keep going back to it and have to be happy with it before I realise its finished.”

Whether one of his painting is £9,000 or £900 the buzz of selling his work is constant.

“It’s been a journey and I’ve travelled it my way. I have been extremely lucky to have the support of my family along with Alison and David Milnes at Staithes Gallery.”

Working at this pace can be exhausting, in his studio as well as multiple canvasses are weights, which literally keep him grounded.

The constant need to keep moving forward and changing means that there is no time to rest on laurels.

“Clients get an image which is unique, they are one off’s and they have integrity. It takes much longer to do black and white than colour. When I need to look to someone for critical advice it’s Al who gives me this. I am so grateful as the gallery is like family.”

Rob admits that something has moved in his work, with growing confidence this has seen a transition into abstraction. Confident, bold and liberated this new work embraces different locations. The piers at Whitby register a new iconic feel. They appear to surge into the waves, black pillars that have been there for centuries.

His own self belief can’t be knocked.”I am going to do this no matter what. I always want more images, and I want to achieve.”Having the freedom and the support to do this is something that Rob does not take for granted.

His studio hums with a creative energy that could light up the village.

Wild, masterful and iconic images come from this place and they are all the more beautiful for it.

Rob Shaw walked away from a career as an architectural designer into Staithes to follow his heart to be an artist, and has never looked back. He thrives on dramatic landscapes and has made his home in Staithes which is a constant source of inspiration. His iconic landscapes have travelled the world.

Bright colour pops, seductive shades of blue with white washed houses set against powerful sea and skyscapes quickly became his trade mark interpretation of the landscape. If one place has defined his approach to art it is here.

Self-taught, Rob has defined and carved out a very unique style.

“Its all been in my head, 20 years ago this was what I was thinking about doing, returning to Staithes to paint.

It feels like only now is it all coming togetheer. Its exciting to be stil figuring it out. I throw a mark and can make it move with confidence.

It was always important that his work did not just become a generic interpretation of what he saw. What enables this is a more unconventional perspective, which often gives his work a vertiginous feel. The cliffs or sea walls drop dramatically, the rush of energy in the sea or sky can give a roller coaster feel to the subject matter. Intense reds and blues imply a hot summer day or render the original delineation into an edgy seascape. What underlies all of this is exceptional draughtmanship. The same hues can alternate into a cool still day, which is restful and calm. What is key to his style is an undercurrent of wildness, which is sometimes tamed, or sometimes set free.

This is never more apparent than in his new work, where a certain freedom translates into a more fluid, energetic seascapes. Painted at night in his studio in the mid winter his black and white seascapes are a symphony of inky black skies and wild winter sea’s. If anything captures the North Sea so poetically it is this new work.

Looking out from the harbour the breakwaters frame the paintings where the sea throws everything at them. The canvases capture the raw wild energy of the sea. A floating luminesecnt moon hangs over the harbour like a storm lantern, the white spray of the breaking waves soften the muted greys and blacks. The coldness is palpable, you can sense the night. Working on several canvases at once Rob’s prolific energy comes from a restlessness as transparent as the sea he paints.

There is a constant turbulence, but also a sense of saftey and groundedness to his new work. The security of the harbour, or piers at Whitby become the protectors. The defenders against the elements.

“I’ve got to let it go, I keep going back to it and have to be happy with it before I realise its finished.”

Whether one of his painting is £9,000 or £900 the buzz of selling his work is constant.

“It’s been a journey and I’ve travelled it my way. I have been extremely lucky to have the support of my family and Al at Staithes Gallery.”

Working at this pace can be exhausting, in his studio as well as multiple canvasses are weights, which literally keep him grounded. The constant need to keep moving forward and changing means that there is no time to rest on laurels.

“Clients get an image which is unique, they are one off’s and they have integrity. It takes much longer to do black and white than colour. When I need to look to someone for critical advice it’s Al who gives me this. I am so grateful as the gallery is like family.” Rob admits that something has moved in his work, with growing confidence this has seen a transition into abstraction. Confident, bold and liberated this new work embraces different locations. The piers at Whibty register a new iconic feel. They appear to surge into the waves, black pillars that have been there for centuries.

His own self belief can’t be knocked. “Not by anything, love money or death. I am going to do this no matter what. I always want more images, and I want to achieve.”

Having the freedom and the support to do this is something that Rob does not take for granted.

His studio may be bleak and cold but it hums with a creative energy that could light up the village. Wild, masterful and iconic images come from this place and they are all the more beautiful for it.